Mitchell to dish out 'chin music' to Sri Lanka

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Sydney, Nov 6 (UNI) Mitchell Johnson did a la Brett Lee when he declared, before the start of the opening Test match between Sri Lanka and Australia, that the batsman from the emerald islands will face ''chin music''.

The left-arm pacer signalled his intentions in no uncertain terms, saying he was arming his arsenal of bouncers after going soft on Sri Lanka in the three-day tour game at Allan Border Field.

''I think what I meant out of that was I probably didn't bowl enough bouncers at them, which I'd love to do out here at The Gabba,'' Johnson said.

''It's got a bit more bounce and pace than at Albion, so that's what I meant out of it -- a few more short balls just to unsettle them.'' Sri Lankan team also firmly believe they have the amunition to rattle Australia's imposing top order.

Lasith Malinga, slinging style, did cause some problem in the final warm-up game against Queensland to put Australia on tenterhooks and Johnson says he expects to see some ''chin music'' from both sides when the first Test gets underway.

''I'm sure they're going to give their fair share and they're going to get their fair share back. We've got Brett Lee in the side and he's very quick so I'm sure there's going to be a bit of chin music out there,'' Johnson was quoted by 'Brisbane Times'.

Johnson's inclusion in the Test team is almost sure with Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch sending spinner Brad Hogg home, paving the way for Stuart MacGill, and retained Tasmanian seamer Ben Hilfenhaus as the likely 12th man.

There has been dark times for Johnson, whose cricketing career was almost over when he briefly lost his Queensland cricket contract in 2005.

''Those times were really hard for me. At the time, losing my contract, I'd actually gone back home to Townsville for a month to think about where I was heading, I guess, with my career with cricket, life.

''So to be able to be in this situation now is a real bonus for me. I've had to work pretty hard to get here so I'm pretty proud of how far I've come.'' The 26-year-old, hailed as the ''a once in a generation bowler'' by none other than Dennis Lillee, willbe making his Test debut against Sri Lanka.

A series of serious injuries threatened Johnson's career and led to him losing his state contract in 2004.

A sabbatical with family in his native Townsville convinced him to persevere and it has paid handsome dividends, culminating in a Test debut in front of his beloved home crowd.

''Those times were really hard for me. At the time, losing my contract, I'd actually gone back home to Townsville for a month to think about where I was heading, I guess, with my career with cricket, life.

''So to be able to be in this situation now is a real bonus for me. I've had to work pretty hard to get here so I'm pretty proud of how far I've come,'' he said.

UNI

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